Things to do in August: Festivals and music, fundraisers and movies, car shows and sand sculpture

It’s a good thing the days are long in August. Otherwise, Lakeshore resident’s wouldn’t be able to fit in all of the interesting and fun activities available to them. So, let’s make the most of this time. From festivals to music, family movie nights to car shows, and history lessons to a princess ball, there are plenty of things to do this month in Allegan, Muskegon, and Ottawa counties. This list includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest.

Week 1 (Aug. 1–6)

Coast Guard Festival 
Grand Haven
Through Aug. 6
Cost: Free to attend unless otherwise noted 
The celebration of the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard is still underway in Grand Haven, Coast Guard City USA. Events include:
  • Kids Day, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m. Free. Mulligan’s Hollow. Bring the kids for a great time — games, displays, storytelling, face painting, crafts, and more.
  • Country Legends Tribute — Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Keith Urban, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $15. Lake Michigan Credit Union Waterfront Stage (near the Musical Fountain). 
  • Carnival, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2–11 p.m. $25 armband. Downtown Harbor Front and Covenant Life parking lot. (Carnival runs Aug. 1–5, prices and hours vary; see website.) 
  • Trilogy Classics Live — Journey, Foreigner, Styx, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $15. Lake Michigan Credit Union Waterfront Stage (near the Musical Fountain). 
  • Ship tours, Thursday, Aug. 3, 10 a.m. to noon, 1–3 p.m. and 6–8 p.m. Free. Escanaba Park. Visit the USCGC Mackinaw, USCGC Bristol Bay, and USCGC Katmai Bay. (Ship tours run Aug. 1–5, hours vary; see website.)  
  • Sunset BLVD — ’80s Rock, Thursday, Aug. 3, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $15. Lake Michigan Credit Union Waterfront Stage (near the Musical Fountain).
  • Walk of Coast Guard History, Friday, Aug. 4, noon. Free. Dedication of the “newest” point of Coast Guard History. Grand Haven City Hall, 519 Washington Ave. 
  • Face 2 Face, A Tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel, Friday, Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $15. Lake Michigan Credit Union Waterfront Stage (near the Musical Fountain). 
  • Coast Guard Craft Fair, Friday, Aug. 4, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free to attend. See exhibits of 170 crafters. Washington Avenue in Grand Haven.
  • Grand Parade, Saturday, Aug. 5, 11:45 a.m. Free. See more than 100 entries salute the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard. (See website for parade route.)
  • The Modern Gentlemen, Saturday, Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $25. Lake Michigan Credit Union Waterfront Stage (near the Musical Fountain).
  •  Musical Fountain Coast Guard Festival Show, Saturday, Aug. 5, 9:50–10:20 p.m. Free. 101 N. Harbor Drive.

Family History Research at the Library of Michigan
Herrick District Library, North Branch, 155 Riley St., Holland
Tuesday, Aug. 1, 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Discover the resources and services of the Library of Michigan from its community engagement librarian, Adam Oster. Adults can learn about the physical/digital collections of your state library, as well as the variety of services available for historical organizations and researchers throughout this great state.

Century of Progress — 100 Years of LGBTQ History in Saugatuck-Douglas
Saugatuck Douglas History Center, 130 W. Center St., Douglas
Thursday–Saturday, Aug. 1–3, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: Free
The exhibit shares stories of people living in the margins — progress made and challenges faced — along the Lakeshore in a timeline format, with local, state, and national LGBTQ developments included for context.

Champagne Club Garden Party
Port 393, 393 Cleveland Ave., Holland
Wednesday, Aug. 2, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Cost: $60
Ladies, put on your flowered dress, grab your girls and enjoy the Port Terrace with the Champagne Club, raising funds for Kids’ Food Basket. Cost includes champagne and dinner by Noco Provisions.
Ladies are welcome to enjoy dinner at the Champagne Club Garden Party, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. Aug. 2.

Grand Haven Artisan Market
Central Park Place, 421 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven
Friday, Aug. 4, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend
Take a break from the heat and humidity and shop unique crafters, artists, and local businesses! Grab lunch, a yummy sweet, and a cold beverage.

Movies on Deck: ‘The Blues Brothers’
USS LST 393 Veterans Museum, 560 Mart St., Muskegon
Friday, Aug. 4, 10 p.m.
Cost: Free (donations welcome)
The Friday night film series for 2023 concludes with the outrageously hilarious 1980 movie starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. There is no charge to attend, although donations are welcome. Moviegoers should bring their own chairs. Popcorn, soda, and snacks will be available for sale.
Details: Aug. 4, aboard the USS LST 393, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi star in “The Blues Brothers,” the final film in the 2023 Movies on Deck series.

Sweet Summer Night: ‘Night at the Museum’
Downtown Zeeland, Splash Pad Park
Friday, Aug. 4, 8–10:30 p.m. (movie beings at dusk, around 8:45 p.m.)
Cost: Free
Enjoy a family- and pet-friendly outdoor movie experience that includes complimentary popcorn and treats. Seating an concessions begin at 8 p.m.

Yoga with Goats
Fellinlove Farm, 6364 144th Ave., Holland
Saturday, Aug. 5, 10–11:15 a.m.
Cost: $10 (age 7 and older)
Practice yoga with the farm’s super sweet goats, pigs, cats, dogs, rabbits, and more. A certified instructor from Journey of Hope Yoga will lead this session for everyone from beginner to seasoned yogi. Bring a mat, towel, and your friends. Afterward, feel free to tour the farm. Text 616-283-7555 with number attending.

Week 2 (Aug. 7–13)

Exploring Engineering: Robot Adventure
Herrick North Branch, 155 Riley St., Holland
Tuesday, Aug. 8, 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Explore engineering at the library. School-age kids can learn from a professional in the field, then participate in a hands-on STEM activity. This month, watch a robot demonstration from local students and then make your own bristlebot robot. While supplies last. This is a partnership event with Team R.O.B.O.T.I.C.S. 

Unity Christian Music Festival
Heritage Landing, Muskegon
Wednesday through Saturday, Aug. 9–12, hours vary
Cost: free, “Day Zero” (Aug. 9); $55 for 1-day pass; $85 for 3-day pass 
Back for its 22nd year, the festival features top artists in Christian music. Main stage performers include For King & Country, Casting Crowns, and more. A “Family Fun Zone” offers free games and activities for kids of all ages.

Thousands of Christian music fans are expected once again at the 22nd Unity Festival, set for Aug. 9–12.

Coopersville Car Show & Summerfest
Downtown Coopersville, Main Street (car show) and Veterans Park (Kids’ Fest)
Wednesday–Saturday, Aug. 9–12, times vary
Cost: Car Show registration, $15; pancake breakfast, $7.50; Music on Main, free
Events include Music on Main with Two Dudes in Flip Flops at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and a Kids’ Fest field day event at 5–8 p.m. Thursday at Veteran’s Park. On Friday, a car cruise lineup begins at 4 p.m., and gets moving (see map) at 6 p.m., then more Music on Main with Gunnar and the Grizzly Boys in the entertainment tent. Saturday gets going early with a pancake breakfast at City Hall and car show on Main Street starting at 7 a.m.. Other Saturday activities include an arts and crafts show, awards and trophies, and more entertainment. Proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Coopersville for scholarships, reading bus, and more.

Painted Piano Project Summer Concert Series
Jack H. Miller Center, 221 Columbia Ave., Holland
Mondays, Aug. 10 and 17, 7–8 p.m.
Cost: Free
Come “tickle the ivories,” sing, play a tune with your own accompanist or just listen. All are welcome.

Big Lake Classic Fishing Tournament
Boats departing from Saugatuck, Holland or South Haven
Friday–Sunday, Aug. 11–13
Cost: Application fee starts at $250
This nonprofit pro/am tournament, sponsored by Sportsmen for Sportsmen, includes at least a $1,000 first-place prize. Sign up and show off your fishing prowess — or try your luck.

Sand Sculpture Contest
Grand Haven City Beach, 1149 S. Harbor Drive, Grand Haven
Saturday, Aug. 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend
It’s the 40th appearance in Grand Haven of this family-friendly, all-skill-levels-welcome contest where families, friends, coworkers, and individuals sculpt the sand into amazing creations.
Head down to Grand Haven City Beach for the 40th local Sand Sculpture Contest, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 12.

Camp Sunshine Run for the Sun
Run begins at Hope College Dow Center, 168 E. 13th St., Holland
Saturday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: $30 5K run, $20 1-mile run/walk
The Run for the Sun 5K returns to the Hope College campus with 5K and 1-mile Fun Run options. Since 2009, Run for the Sun has been an opportunity for campers, counselors, donors, families, friends, and sponsors to join together in raising awareness and support for Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The run ends at 271 W. Lakewood Blvd.

Community Concert: Our Wonderful World
Kollen Park, Henry VanderLinde Bandshell, 240 Kollen Park Drive, Holland
Saturday, Aug. 12, 7–9 p.m.
Holland Symphony Orchestra welcomes five local diverse groups and artists to the stage celebrating the wonderful reality that Music Unites Us. Join the HSO and its guests as they play exciting and uplifting music from around the world.

Week 3 (Aug. 14–20)

Tech Help Open Hours
Herrick District Library, 300 S. River Ave., Holland 
Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2–4 p.m.
Cost: Free
Do you have a tech question you just can’t figure out? Need help with email or your phone? Adults, you’re welcome to drop in, ask questions and find the answers you’re looking for.

Food Truck Rally
Muskegon Farmers Market, 242 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Wednesday, Aug. 16, 5–8 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend
More than 20 food trucks will line the stalls of the market to offer the best of West Michigan’s eats. Enjoy your food alongside cold drinks from the bar and live music on stage.

‘1223’ Engine Ice Cream Social
Tri-Cities Historical Museum, 301 N. Harbor Drive, Grand Haven
Thursday, Aug. 17, 6–8 p.m.
Cost: Free
Come join staff and volunteers at the ‘1223’ Engine for the museum’s annual Ice Cream Social. Explore the historic engine, play historic games, eat delicious ice cream from Sweet Temptations (while supplies last), and more.

Gather from 6–8 p.m. Aug. 17 at the ‘1223’ Engine for the Tri-Cities Historical Museum’s annual ice cream social.
Up Close and Wild — Live Reptiles, Amphibians, and More
1001 Harbor Ave., Grand Haven
Thursday, Aug. 17, 7–8 p.m.
Cost: Free
This program introduces audiences to Michigan wildlife. Live animals — reptiles, amphibians, and birds — will be used during the presentation. People will learn unique characteristics of animals and how they fit into the state’s diverse ecosystems. Suitable for all ages.

Kids’ Power of Produce Club
Muskegon Farmers Market, 242 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Saturday, Aug. 19, 10 a.m. to noon
Cost: Free
Join the Muskegon Museum of Art at the Muskegon Farmers Market for a hands-on art activity with the Kids’ Power of Produce Club. This month’s free art activity is Puffy Paint Food.

sWine Roast
Fenn Valley Vineyards, 6130 122nd Ave., Fennville
Saturday, Aug. 19, 6 p.m.
Cost: $45 (reservations required)
Guests will begin with hard cider and appetizers, then transition to a picnic-style dinner complete with a house-roasted pig and seasonal sides. Ticket price includes food, wine and hard cider,  live music, and gratuity. A vegetarian option is available at the time of booking.

‘Dreams Come True’ Princess Ball
Holland Civic Center, 180 W. Eighth St., Holland
Thursday, Aug. 20, 10–11:30 a.m., 12:30–2 p.m., 3–4:30 p.m.
Cost: $15–$35
Join the princesses from Olivia Grace & Co. for an enchanting event complete with meet-and-greet and photo opportunities with eight of the group’s most popular characters, enchanting performances, dancing, and lots of magic. All proceeds will go directly to the “Magic Fund,” which sponsors events and experiences for children and families who need magic the most.

Princesses from Olivia Grace & Co. are inviting folks to their “Dreams Come True” Princess Ball. Three sessions are slated for Aug. 20.
Week 4 (Aug. 21–31)

Wicks Park Gazebo Music in the Park
Wicks Park, Saugatuck
Wednesday, Aug. 23, 7–9 p.m.
Cost: Free
Sit and relax in beautiful Wicks Park as the band plays. Free shuttle service from Saugatuck High School on Interurban Transit Authority.

Battle on the Boardwalk
Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium, 1 N. Harbor Drive, Grand Haven
Thursday–Friday, Aug. 24–25
Cost: Free to attend
Come and watch the 11th annual battle as local schools play volleyball against each other on Grand Haven’s waterfront. Schools from Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Fruitport and Mona Shores will participate in the competition.

Stories and Smoothies
Community Action House, 739 Paw Paw Drive, Holland
Friday, Aug. 25, 10–11 a.m. (required registration opens at noon Aug. 11)
Cost: Free
Staff from Herrick District Library and Community Action House will share some of their favorite stories and songs about fruits and veggies. Then kids up to age 5 can walk around the Food Club and select which foods to put into their own smoothie.

Shakespeare at the Rose: ‘Richard III’
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, 300 E. Crystal Lake Road, Twin Lake
Saturday, Aug. 26, 2 p.m.
Cost: $15 students and $25 adults in advance; $30 at the door
Pigeon Creek remounts its award-winning production of Shakespeare’s “Richard III” in a one-time performance at the Rose. The play is filled with action and intrigue as Richard of Gloucester plots, schemes, and connives his way to the throne of England, eliminating anyone in his path. 
Shakespeare lovers get another opportunity to see the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp production of “Richard III,” set for Aug. 26.

Mini Golf for a Big Cause
Putters Creek, 40 N. Causeway St., Muskegon
Saturday, Aug. 26, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Get ready for an unforgettable day of family fun — mini golf, Gelly Ball and go-karts. The Chick-fil-A food truck will be onsite, serving up mouthwatering treats for purchase all day long. Bring your family, invite your friends, and make a positive impact on the community. All proceeds from this event will directly benefit Muskegon Rescue Mission in their mission to assist those in need.

'My Idlewild! A Live Historical Musical Revue'
Holland Armory, 16 W. Ninth St., Holland
Saturday, Aug. 26, 7-8:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 in advance, $35 at the door
As part of Holland Museum’s current exhibition, this production chronicles the people who made Idlewild special. A live band and vocal artists in a juke-joint atmosphere will bring to life historical Idlewild performers, such as the Four Tops, Dinah Washington, Fats Waller, and Sarah Vaughan. Original songs by Gezelle Grier Myers also will be featured.

Fennville Summer Music Series
Pantelleria Park, 125 S. Maple St., Fennville
Thursday, Aug. 31, 6:30–8 p.m.
Cost: Free
Enjoy free live music for all ages across from City Hall for the final installment of the 2023 series, featuring the Great Lakes Brass and Samuel Nalangira. 

The Great Lakes Brass is scheduled to take the stage Aug. 31 as the Fennville Summer Music Series wraps up for 2023.

Samuel Nalangira is scheduled to take the stage Aug. 31 as the Fennville Summer Music Series wraps up for 2023.
Need suggestions for specific destinations or activities, check out these tourism resources for details:
Holland Area Visitors Bureau
Grand Haven CVB
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation
Saugatuck CVB
Allegan County Parks & Recreation
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Read more articles by Melody Wilson.